The Bulletin – Edition 1
Inside the Head’s Head:
One of the many wonderful things about working in a school is that, literally, on a daily basis some astonishing, unexpected and (because children are involved) usually amusing event or other takes place, which brings joy to our hearts and only serves to reinforce further for all of us here why teaching is the best job in the world.
A particular highlight for me this week occurred when I was at the Pre-Prep on Wednesday. Miss Page and the Year 2 boys have just begun a topic about the circus, and by way of a long-winded introduction to what I was actually there to do (simply read them a story) I might have, er, accidentally “amplified” a few details about my own boyhood ambitions.
I launched into a frankly ridiculous explanation to Year 2 that when I was much younger I had in fact been running away to join the circus myself, when I was side-tracked by the sight of a wonderful school, which I thought might be a better bet and lo and behold, here I am still working in it to this very day! Year 2 are a wily bunch and in line with our understanding as educators of childhood development, I could tell their own growing understanding of irony and humour meant they simply did not believe me, although I am pretty convinced they were politely happy to humour me. The withering looks on the faces of a few of them attested to as much! There is nothing quite like being rumbled by 22 six-year olds to bring you down to earth with a bump. As acclaimed American educationalist and dyslexia specialist Maryanne Woolf has explained “The compassionate imagination of childhood begins with understanding that there are others outside of ourselves”.
In their assembly this week some Year 3 boys accused Mrs Tinkler of being “Deputy Head Pastry” and Mr Ford was re-styled as “Deputy Head in charge of our Learning” (which are both pretty good new job titles in my opinion). We are running our assembly programme slightly differently this term, in line with current Government guidance regarding social distancing in schools, and we used this week’s assembly slots to let the boys know a bit more about that. Our Head Boy Archie Duggan, ably assisted by our Deputy Head Boy Alfie Keller, are both doing a magnificent job each morning rallying individual Year groups on our tannoy system to come to the James Hall for an assembly, when it is their turn to do so.
News from Mr Salt, Head of Games:
It seems a shame that in the first paragraph of my first sports bulletin I must write of cancellations. Firstly, as Mr Smith stated in the appendix to his start of term letter, the Swimming Gala has been postponed. We hope to be able to hold it in the Summer Term. Secondly, that there are no football fixtures to report on. Despite a willingness on our part to play (following the FA’s guidance on the return of grassroots football), many of our regular competitors have made the decision to cancel fixtures until after half-term and review their position then.
Competitive sport exposes the boys to so many challenges and experiences through which they can learn lessons applicable to all areas of life. In order that they are not deprived of these opportunities, and make the most of the coaching they receive, we have made best use of an unfilled fixture calendar and set up the inaugural Hampton Prep 5-aside Football Premier League. This morning in assembly, names were drawn from a pot to create six fair teams for each year group. For this half term, each year group will use one of their Games sessions a week as a match day, playing two of the other five teams in their year (making a total of ten matches over the half term). Games staff will referee and coach during these games, as we would in a real fixture, and afterwards discuss performances and award Man of the Match certificates as we would ordinarily. Anyone who has seen the boys play in House Football knows the passion, pride and enjoyment with which they play and I hope this league promotes a similar feeling in them. I will add that, at the moment, this event is for pupils only. We are keeping a close eye on the developing picture regarding sport and fixtures for school children and I hope to be able to provide an opportunity for parents to come along later in the term.
I look forward to reporting to you how the first week of the league has gone next Friday, although I hope you hear it from your son first!
A word from Mrs Murphy:
It has been wonderful to welcome everyone back to school, the children are raring to go, revitalised and eager to get going. In fact, we are over the moon with how beautifully all have settled, taking new routines in their stride. Safe to say, we are looking forward to the year ahead greatly.
It was super to see so many of you, albeit remotely, at the Parents’ Information Evening for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 last week and we hope you found it useful – technology glitches aside! Please do ask if you have any queries however minor. You can contact your child’s class teacher directly via the email address below.
|Year 2:||Miss Pagefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Year 1:||Miss Timbaemail@example.com|
Staggered arrangements for the beginning and end of the day are working well but, to streamline this process further, we will take all bikes and scooters out to the covered walkway at the end of the day ready for collection – any left behind at this time will be taken back inside for safe-keeping, ready for your child to collect after late stay.
All assemblies have been separated out into year groups, however, we are pleased to report that awards, such as Star of the Week and Courtesy Cup will still go ahead in this new forum from next week onwards.
from the classroom this week:
What a fantastic start to the new school year and so lovely to see the children settle so well into Kindergarten this week. They have enjoyed playing with many different resources both inside the classroom and outside in our garden. Dinosaurs, trains and the making table have been firm favourites! They have listened well to various stories but our absolute favourite this week was ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ by Julia Donaldson.
Circle times have focused on the Golden Rules, which are implemented throughout the School. This week we read the story, ‘Gino the Giraffe and Zelda Zebra’ and learned about the golden rule ‘Do Listen to People’. We discussed friendships and being a kind friend, and talked about the importance of saying to friends, “stop, I don’t like it” whenever they do something we don’t like or are not happy with. For information, our six Golden Rules are:
* We are Gentle * We are Kind and Helpful * We Listen
* We are Honest * We Work Hard * We Look After Property
Next week’s topic is ‘Getting to Know You’. As part of this, please may your child bring in a toy from home (no soft toys please) on Tuesday and Wednesday, or alternatively please email a photograph of your child’s favourite toy to Mrs Hand (email address above).
We have had a very busy week in Reception, our work this week focused on the topic Ourselves; we have finished our painted portraits and enjoyed looking at them in our ‘gallery’, noting similarities and differences. The children listened to the story, ‘Gregory and the magic line’ by Dawn Piggot, and this inspired them to take part in a large collaborative piece of class artwork ‘making marks’ – we took our pens for a journey along the paper, exploring the different lines, letters and shapes we could make. We decided it is a great feeling working together towards an end goal.
In literacy, we have spoken about the characters in our Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) stories – learning about each one, looking carefully at their names and using our phonics to blend the letters to read the words. We read some big book stories on our interactive whiteboard. You may like to look at this website at home https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/.
All the children have a reading book for the weekend, together with a reading diary and two small ziplock bags containing sounds and sight words – please return these every day to school. Have fun sharing the book together, talking about the illustrations and recognising the names of the different characters within the text. During our phonics sessions, we have been focusing on the correct cursive formation of the letters /s/, /a/ and /t/, and have been playing some oral blending games. In mathematics, we have been counting up to 10 and using our hands to practise quickly showing correct amounts of fingers when a number is said out loud. We have been learning how to form the numbers /0/, /1/ and /2/ correctly, remembering always to start our numbers at the top.
We have had a fabulous start to the Autumn Term in Year 1 and we have all been impressed by the way in which the children have adapted to their new learning environment. The children were extremely excited to name our class ‘pet’, Snowy! Snowy the Penguin will be visiting all of you for a weekend at some point during the year.
We wrote about our wishes for Year 1 and have made a beautiful kite display to remind ourselves of what we would like to achieve during the year. We also enjoyed sharing Summer Holiday news – we loved hearing about your exciting adventures; from camping to swimming in the sea!
In maths we revised our numbers from 0-20 – recognising and ordering – in preparation for working on addition and subtraction next week.
In English this week, we have read the story, ‘Knuffle Bunny’ where a little girl loses her favourite soft toy. We thought about how this might feel, and wrote speech bubbles to express our feelings. We were really pleased with the children’s writing – we talked about careful cursive formation and correct punctuation.
Year 2 have also had a super start to the term! They have been very busy in school this week, completing lots of different activities. In maths, they have been partitioning 2-digit numbers into tens and ones, comparing numbers up to 100 using the symbols <, > and = and have had a go at balancing equations such as ‘4 + 6 = 2 + ?’.
In English, the class enjoyed the story, ‘If I Ran The Circus’ by Dr Suess and worked with a partner to spot the rhyming words. Yesterday, the boys designed their own crazy circus animal or act – do ask them to tell you about theirs, as they were all so fantastic! This afternoon, Year 2 have learnt about how the circus began and enjoyed learning about different circus acts.
During our science lesson, we had a great discussion about types of forces and the boys couldn’t believe how often they push or pull things throughout the day! I wonder if they can spot more at home?
We are looking forward to finding out more about these topics next week.